Thursday at the HUD secretary confirmation hearing before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, Dr. Ben Carson, President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for the position, fielded questions from Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) on as to whether or not he would direct money in a way that would benefit Trump’s business interests.
“Now housing development is an area at which President-elect Trump and his family have significant business interests,” Warren said. “Can you assure me that not a single taxpayer that you give out will financially benefit the president elect or his family?”
“I can assure you that the things that I do are driven by a sense of morals and values, and therefore I will absolutely not play favorites for anyone,” he replied.
Rest of the exchange as follows:
WARREN: My concern is whether or not, among the billions of dollars that you’ll be responsible for handing out in grants and loans, can you assure us that not one dollar will go to benefit either the president-elect or his family.
CARSON: It will not be my intention to do anything to benefit any American, particularly. It’s for all Americans, everything that we do.
WARREN: Do I take that to mean that you may manage programs that will significantly benefit the president-elect?
CARSON: You can take it to mean that I will manage things in a way that benefits the American people. That is going to be the goal. If there happens to be an extraordinarily good program that’s working for millions of people and it turns out that someone that you’re targeting is going to gain $10 from it, am I going to say ‘no, the rest of you Americans can’t have it?’ I think logic and common sense probably would be the best way.
WARREN: This just highlights the absurdity and the danger of the president-elect’s refusal to put his assets in a true blind trust. He knows, the president-elect knows, what will benefit him and his family financially, but the public doesn’t. Which means he can divert taxpayer money into his own pockets without anyone knowing about it.
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